A good role model for U.S. banks, the Accenture team says, is Garanti Bank in Turkey. Last year, the bank launched a mobile app that provides mobile payments, personal financial management tools, and location-based merchant discounts as well as basic banking. Garanti partners with Foursquare and merchants for the location-based discounts. The app also analyzes transaction data to provide savings suggestions for users and estimate how much money they will have in their account for the rest of the month. It offers "impulse saving" tools and provides access to the bank's loan products.
There are always data privacy concerns about using customers' data. In an example made famous by The New York Times two years ago, retailer Target's data scientists found that women in the first 20 weeks of pregnancy tend to buy large quantities of certain products (such as lotion and dietary supplements), and marketed to them accordingly. One day a father stormed into a store, angrily demanding to know why his teenage daughter was being sent coupons for maternity clothing and nursery furniture. A few days later, after talking to his daughter, the father sheepishly admitted that the store had guessed correctly: she was pregnant.
Anecdotes like this will keep cropping up as companies mine customer data more deeply.
"As they try to become more customer-centric and provide additional advice, organizations will stub their toe occasionally," Busch says.
But if a bank repeatedly makes useful, worthwhile recommendations, its occasional missteps will be outweighed by the sense that it's looking out for the customer's best interest, Busch says.
And if bank customers are worried about banks' use of their financial data, they don't say so in surveys. In a study of 23,000 consumers in 23 countries conducted in late 2013, Accenture found that consumers trust banks far more with their personal data than telecom providers and Google. Close to half - 41% - said the type of company (out of a list of options) they trust most with their personal data is their bank. Less than a third (27%) said it was their mobile network provider, and less than a quarter (23%) said Google. Smaller numbers place their trust in Facebook (14%), Apple (12%), Amazon (8%) or Twitter (5%).